A huge congratulations to Lewis for securing an internship with Morgan Stanley as a Summer Compliance Analyst! He shares his top tips to help you get ahead.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
I chose Morgan Stanley as it is one of the most prestigious financial services firms in the world, and its EMEA headquarters in London is a unique opportunity gain valuable experience at the forefront of the sector.
The Complaince Analyst role was perfect in building on my previous legal experience and law degree, to gain insight into regulatory, legal, and compliance issues in various divisions of an investment bank. The role a bridging my interests in law and banking & finance, and will uniquely place me to succeed as a finance lawyer during my training contract through exposure to new regulations that will shape the financial sector such as MiFID II and GDPR.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The full-day assessment centre was the toughest part, and the toughest one I have attended. This was due to the competitiveness through number of candidates attending the day, and the two hour group case study exercise. This difficulty can be overcome by building rapport with the other candidates, I feel that if you see one another as peers rather than competition you are more likley to be relaxed and get the best from one another. This works particularly well for the group exercise, and is why collaboration is a core value of Morgan Stanley.
Whilst the group case study exercise was the toughest part it was undoubtably my favourite, as it was very authentic and unique, with live contributions from various Morgan Stanley members. Analysing a complex transaction in an unfamiliar sector and location whilst under strict time pressures meant division of labour was essential, and was satisfying to present a viable solution off the back of our group's work. Therefore, it has motivated me do so such work during my placement.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was surprised at the quick turnaround from application and online testing, to telephone interview, to assessment centre. The longest part was waiting for the offer!
Whilst this surprised me, and was challenging as I had to drop other commitments to prepare to assessments, it allowed me to remain focused on the process and really required clarity as to why I wanted to work in the banking sector, and in particular at the firm. It is a credit to Morgan Stanley for being so efficient whilst dealing with a high volume of applicants.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1. Prepare thoroughly. You need to know your own strengths and motivations but also what differentiates the organisation from its competitors, its values, and how this impacts day to day work. You also need to be aware of current trends and the marketplace - some candidates were asked their opinions on the firm's Q3 results!!
2. Have some insightful questions (keep asking until they shut you up!). I find it good to ask a personal question i.e. about the interviewers' routes and experiences to date to build rapport, followed by role specific questions, and then broader sector specific trends. Try to make it conversational and react to their answers naturally.
3. Apply early - this sounds obvious but can be hard to do when you have deadlines. It gives you a better statistical chance if they are reviewed on a rolling basis, but more importantly it gives you the most amount of time to research and prepare. Use any time you can get to your advantage.What was the toughest question you faced at interview?
Which area of compliance would you want to work in?
This was tough as the compliance area of the firm is not very transparent.